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(moved) How long to shodan? [#25]

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ArnoHollosi: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-09 00:48) [#51]

Sandy Harris For judo, I've heard a saying that you take 10,000 falls before reaching black belt. I think for most martial arts about five years serious practice is typical, although I know one guy who did it in 18 months and I practiced aikido off and on for over 10 years without getting close to shodan.

Is there any proverb about this for go? Anyone got an estimate?

(moved from QuickQuestions)

ArnoHollosi: Re: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-09 00:48) [#52]

Calvin: There is a proverb, but it's not that enlightening. It says it takes 1000 games to reach shodan. What this means, however, is open for debate. In some variations of the proverb it means replaying pro games and not just playing games yourself. Certainly 1000 thoughtless blitz games will not do it. There are countless double-digit kyu players on IGS with more than 1000 games racked up. According to James Kerwin 1P, Most players will never reach shodan in their lives---they will either give up the game or simply stagnate at a particular rank. But some can do it in less than a year with enough talent and hard work. So the analogy to a martial arts black belt is a good one.

Dieter: Talented, dedicated people nowadays can do it in year and a half, due to the presence of Go Servers and studying material on the net. Restricted to real life play and instruction, these dedicated talents mostly need three to five years, because good opponents and teachers are harder to find in clubs. I think that shodan is reachable for anybody who is dedicated, whatever his talent, but it may take ten years to get there.

DrStraw: When I started playing 31 years ago it was generally accepted that "1000 games to reach shodan" was reasonable. There was no internet and not too many books, so this meant that by playing 10 games a week at the local club you could reach shodan in two years. Of course, without the online resources, a serious student would spent a lot of time studying alone. Nowadays, with people logging on and playing several games each day, it is possible to play 1000 games in a matter of months and so I do not think that the proverbs is still valid. However, 1000 serious games should be more than enough to reach the goal. By serious I mean a game in which you either thought a lot during the play or reviewed it extensively afterwards.

Thad: Just to quantify what DrStraw said: recently I was watching a game by Minue. There was a particular move that confused me and could not be explained to my satisfaction by kibitzers. Unfortunately I could not ask him the logic of the move until three games later. Not only could he remember the move that I asked him about, he could remember the sequence leading up to it.

One of the biggest talents needed for Go is a strong ability to do pattern matching. In order to be able to do pattern matching, you must have a lot of patterns "in your tank". Understanding when they work, and understanding when they don't. Playing a 1000 games eseentially "fills your tank".

Games which you do not remember, and in particular, blitz games, do not "fill your tank". For that to happen, you need to have large chunks of you games memorised. ( Not necessarily whole games, but enough to discuss aspects of them. )

This also includes other factors which inhibit memorisation, for example games where your jusgement is inhibited ie drunk or very tired.

DrStraw: Excellent analogy. Wish I had thought of that myself, but I will certainly use it in the future.

(moved from QuickQuestions)

reply Re: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-09 01:24) [#58]

Andy Pierce: I wonder if rather than "play 1000 games to reach Shodan" it should be something along the lines of "understand why you lost 500 games to reach Shodan". Personally, I think I learn a lot more from games I lose than from games I win.

tderz: Re: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-14 10:55) [#174]

It seemed that the
time needed to reach shodan became shorter
the later (more afterwards) you asked the people (who had reached it).

Example: Someone just made shodan in five years and says so.
Some years later that'll be 4 years.

X Re: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-14 12:41) [#175]

HermanHiddema: Very true. As I recall it now, I was already shodan when I first learned the game. :)

tderz: Re: (moved) How long to shodan? (2005-10-14 15:02) [#176]

In August 2005 I played a game with "Kong Jie's teacher" (perhaps to ask more money from me), 7 dan amateur (Chin. H3 (diagonal: 3-4 + tengen + 4-3); result W+3, Chinese counting, I felt as if I was ahead, strange). He was very strong at the fundamentals (if I can judge that at all) and most of his moves came instantaneously. This as an introduction.

The room was used by about 10-15 people, mostly kids, who where playing adults (i.e. "Kong Jie's teacher" played simultaneously with 2-3 kids). After my game (1-to-1) came a boy (10 years, 4 dan) and asked me for a game. I accepted, of course, but told him that most probably I would not be able to finish the game as I wanted to be home with the family at a certain time. In one of the first corners I think that he plays hamete with me or that at least I do not know the correct continuation and are not satisfied with my moves. So, I ask him during the game that I know that I must have made a mistake somewhere and whether he would be so kind and explain it later to me. Later he discussed it with the 7 dan and they quickly laid some variations on the table and it was just one simple "Zwischenzug" and it's ok. Once you see it you understand. I do not know what would have happened in the middle game as I had to leave than quite soon, but also he played quite quick.

Anyway, to the point, the boy told me that he plays Go just for 1 year! (his father said "two years", but still).

I think that is what you can achieve if you play regularly (only?) with about amateur 7dans (as he most probably did).

Do not learn wrong or inferior concepts, jump those steps!
Almost all of us in the West will have had incremental steps of learning + de-learning:
old vs. new concepts & shapes

The more intensive you learn, the less time "wrong" concepts can have time to settle.
For children holds my own idea of learning as well: their brain is not so filled up with other stuff, hence new stuff can easier absorbed.

BTW, in that house was also one player who claimed to be 1 dan professional and it was close to TianTan?, thus also to the ZhongGuo WeiQi Yuan?. So perhaps these boys were preparing themselves to become professionals.

ChrisHayashida: ((no subject)) (2006-02-24 08:09) [#1105]

There have been several kids (well, junior high and high school students) that have made shodan (AGA) in under a year. One went abroad and studied Go at a school in China for a few months over summer break. Another studied, took lessons, and played online.

Since it's happened twice, I think it is definitely possible. I am sure that there are many more examples of people that were able to improve that quickly. However, I don't think that everyone that plays will have the time to devote to getting better at Go.

It took me four years, but I was able to do it. I don't think I played the 1000 games. (On a lark, I counted all my game records up until 5/1/2005, and it ended up being 839. :) I think I'm at the I did read a lot of books, played when I could, went back and reviewed my games, and did a lot of problems.

I don't know that there's a minimum amount of time. I do think that there is a minimum amount of effort, though.

reply New answer added. (2016-10-25 06:26) [#10842]

It is safe to say that, for a majority of Kyu players (80%), it would take around 4,000-5,000 games to remain in the Kyu trap on 9x9. See research paper in Biblopgraphy, The Art of 9x9 Go, 2nd Edition, [ext] http://www.goo.gl/xmwcuy.

X Re: New answer added. (2016-10-25 12:00) [#10843]

Eh? What is kyu trap? Do you mean "remain at kyu level". I followed that link and found no research paper, just a few sentences on some guy's website. It seemed to suggest that by looking at 30 1 kyu players on the GoQuest server they had about 4000-5000 games and therefore they had played for 12 years. This is illogical, afaik GoQuest server has not existed for 12 years, probably they play many games a day. Also looking at how many games 1 kyus have played doesn't tell you how long it takes people to pass 1 kyu: most people will not document their entire go rank progression on goquest (for example I started playing there as a dan player with a 30 kyu account and quickly shot up the ranks, that ranking up is not indicative of my real improvement but simply the account catching up with me), there is no reason why some 1 kyu with 5000 games will become 1 dan in the future, and you are not looking at how many games the dan players have (and again you would just be looking at the subset of their games played on goquest).

OscarBear: Re: New answer added. (2016-10-25 13:06) [#10844]

Agree, but furthermore, there is little recognition of a shodan rank only on a 9x9 board. When somebody asks the question How long to a shodan? they are probably talking in the context of a 19x19 board. Re: New answer added. (2016-10-25 18:24) [#10845]

1. Kyu trap is a technical term borrowed from economics, namely middle income trap. It takes time and needs change to escape the trap.

2. I should have said research abstract instead of research paper. It is a result of quick research on the problem.

3. Carefully reading the abstract, you will never find any disagreement. Results do not stated in the way you expressed. It is an if-cause. If people played 1 game/day, it would take 12 years as kyu players.

4. You are not a majority of people at GoQuest, who are Kyu players on 9x9. So, the abstract is already correct. You, and other dan players, are not the focus of that research.

5. I was intended to answer in the context of 9x9 as an eye opening answer, something I wanted to say. The answer was given to those who may be interested. New generation go players tend to find the beauty in the art of 9x9.

reply New findings added (2016-11-05 09:22) [#10847]

On 9x9, it takes around 1.5 - 29 years, depending on the nunber of games played per day. See full research results at [ext] https://sites.google.com/site/artof9x9go/agagr1-1?pli=1#password

reply Some findings from Japanese content (2017-07-20 14:56) [#10981]

1. There is a project that trains adult beginners reach syodan in three months, with a few actually reaching syodan after three months and 200 games. But these games are with instructors with extensive lessons after every game. 2. Talented small kids studying under pros reach syodan as fast as after 200 games, but on average higher hundreds (700-800 games). 3. Yoda 9P said "anyone can reach syodan after 1000 games".(note the word "can")

by the way, Yoda 9P has also said he has reached syodan after 600 hours of studying, and his pro colleague the same. (he did not mention whether or not playing games were included in the 600 hours)

zendo: Re: Some findings from Japanese content (2017-08-01 01:16) [#10987]

1. There is a project that trains adult beginners reach syodan in three months, with a few actually reaching syodan after three months and 200 games. But these games are with instructors with extensive lessons after every game.

What project is this? Any links? Re: Some findings from Japanese content (2018-01-17 03:56) [#11066]

[ext] http://igoholdings.jp/igo-shodan-project/ Its all in Japanese, and unfortunately they seem to have discontinued the program.

2603:7000:6e40:001c: 10,000 loses (2023-07-29 02:42) [#12287]

"It takes 10,000 lost games to become shodan" , or something like that, is what I heard of. Seeing your weaknesses and learning from them is why it is supposed to be loses, rather than just "games." More recently, it has been said it takes 10,000 lost games to become "9 dan," since there are many shodans who haven't lost 10,000 times yet.

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